Saturday, May 25, 2019

Blogs

Essays by a diverse group of writers, in the United States and abroad, engaged in rethinking psychiatry. (The directory of personal stories can be found here, and initiatives here).

Esketamine nasal spray

Nasal Spray for Depression? Not So Fast

Several members of the FDA Advisory Committee perceived this new drug as a potential “game changer” in the way depression is treated. I, however, am NOT one of them. I take my role as the Consumer Representative very seriously and want to make sure that any pharmaceutical drug that the FDA approves shows greater benefit than potential harm.
loneliness

Loneliness Cure: Red or Blue Pill?

Does this "loneliness pill" concept amount to encouraging people to stay in their homes and take a pill rather than get socially connected in their communities or reach out to those who need it? Even if a pill could generate the same effects as physical and emotional closeness between humans, is it the right thing to do?
institutional corruption

Institutional Corruption in the Cochrane Collaboration

My story is not just about the personal costs of speaking truth to power. This is a story about institutional corruption and one of the worst show trials in academia that you can imagine. I have written a book that documents the truth, backed by leaked board room recordings, private emails and testimony from concerned citizens.
fragility

Funder Fragility and Forced Collaboration

Dear Funder, You say you want to work on health equity but can you walk the talk? Do you care about hearing the actual community? Do you REALLY want data-driven, accurate info to balance harm vs benefit? Or do you just want to keep your status quo? Dear Funder, Don't be fragile. Move beyond your blind spots. Our people matter.
full moral status for psychiatric clients

‘Full Moral Status’ Part II: How to Achieve Safety, Parity, and Change

If you want to leave the system and the drugs and get your diagnosis removed, the following guide might stimulate some effective action. Like with many of life's challenges, having excellent re$ources could potentially gain these results more quickly, but the most important elements are attitude, awareness and strategy.
school refusal

“I’m Not Going, You Can’t Make Me!”: A Community Approach to School Refusal

Consider an imaginary child called Jack who has been avoiding school as much as possible for a month. Standard practice would be cognitive-behavioral therapy or psychoactive drugs to help Jack deal with his anxiety. But what if Jack's social network instead mobilized to help him regain the role of student?

The War on Antidepressants: Why We Need to End it for Public Benefit

In the interest of the patients who are currently experiencing withdrawal reactions and the many more who will suffer withdrawal effects in the future, we need to end this “war.” Academic psychiatry must address these problems and conduct thorough research on withdrawal reactions.

Orthodox Madness

The Orthodox believe that we are all mentally ill due to sin and that the Orthodox Church is the hospital for the soul, the psychiatric hospital with God being our Psychiatrist, the Physician of our souls. Orthodox belief regarding the human psyche may appear to be pure madness, even delusional, from the perspective of modern western medical science.
safety

ASIST Suicide Prevention Training: “Safe” for Who?

Ever since the cops and CPS were called on me by someone at an ASIST Suicide Prevention training, I've been trying to see it all as a gift. What better proof to counter those who claim it's "safe" to tell than what happened to me? What better evidence that our system responses are seriously off track? It wasn't safe. Not for me.
bible

Spiritual Texts in the Psych Ward

With current self-publishing capabilities, there’s little that can stop anyone with the slightest messianic complex from actualizing their potential as a prophet—except perhaps the tactics psychiatry employs: forced drugging, locking people up and limiting their abilities to communicate with the rest of the world.
antidepressant withdrawal

How Long Does Antidepressant Withdrawal Last?

The patient experiencing the pain of withdrawal believed that they would feel better when they stopped taking their antidepressants. After all, they’re under the care of a board-certified medical professional who has vowed to do no harm. But despite those reassurances, they find themselves in a world of hurt.
psychological injury model

Why the ‘Psychological Injury Model’ Will Ultimately Triumph

The Psychological Injury model will triumph, not just because literally thousands of studies show how trauma and stressful life events result in mental health problems, but because at our core, we know it is true. People hurt people, and people heal people. This cracks the intellectual foundation of psychopharmacology.
fight flight stress

Traumatic Immobility: Depression as a Stress Response

What if we don't have a depression epidemic, but a stress epidemic of traumatic proportions? What if we've been steered away from learning how our minds and bodies actually work, and into believing that our attempts to survive traumatic, threatening real-life circumstances are "symptoms of mental illness"?
NAMI

“Not all NAMIs!”: Why Even the Best Local NAMI Chapter is Still a Problem

Every time I write about NAMI, at least one person approaches me and says, “But not all NAMIs!” Yes, all NAMIs. Every. Last. One. Because even the best of the local chapters are benefiting from the systemic oppression perpetuated by the dominant group to which they are tied. They all participate somehow in sustaining the imbalance.
boy jumping

“ADHD: A Return to Psychology” Video Series

Most people believe that children diagnosed with ADHD misbehave because they possess an inferior inhibitory system that renders them less able to suppress unacceptable actions. However, this belief has numerous shortcomings. This series of videos challenges these assumptions and offers alternative explanations for why a child may exhibit ADHD behaviors.
survivor movement martin luther king

Martin Luther King Jr. and the Psychiatric Violence Survivor Movement

My question to the mental health reform movement, the mad movement, the critical psychiatry movement — whatever we call our movement — is: Will we join the movement to make real change, to get to the heart of human freedom and work to fulfill the promise of democracy against control by monied elites?
fake science

Fake Science and Checking Sources

The field of psychiatry is awash with systematic reviews, meta-analyses and other published articles proclaiming various discoveries. But can this research be trusted? Let's examine one such article, "Suicide prevention strategies revisited: 10-year-old review," in which the author claims that the "anti-suicidal effects of clozapine and lithium have been substantiated."
withdrawal shackles

Antidepressant Withdrawal: An Unknown Disorder?

Antidepressant withdrawal is no longer an unknown disorder since knowledge on this topic has grown enough to be translated into practice. As proposed by George Engel in 1977, medical doctors, including psychiatrists, can observe and listen to their patients and develop a program to treat withdrawal and restore health.
2nd Story respite house

The Never Ending Story: How 2nd Story Respite House Was Saved

We had built relationships with provider and peer organizations and NAMI. We had learned how to interface with the system and share the peer perspective. Ultimately, our relationships saved us. We had worked to start our own organization with the same providers who now were in position to step forward in our defense.
open dialogue

Open Dialogue: Does the Current Research Data Support Further Investment?

A leading US journal published an extensive literature review and analysis of currently available research on Open Dialogue. An accompanying commentary concludes, “The present data on Open Dialogue are insufficient to warrant calls for further research on the program other than those projects that are currently under way.”
new york times

Suicide, Ketamine, the Propaganda Model and the New York Times

A lengthy NYT op-ed had offered what I considered to be a fairly insane solution: “an old anesthetic called ketamine that, at low doses, can halt suicidal thoughts almost immediately.” Despite recognizing how much power the psychiatric-pharmaceutical industrial complex has over the NYT, I submitted my own op-ed in response.
bipolar drugs good bad ugly

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: An Infographic on Bipolar Drugs

Bipolar drug therapy is a balancing act of benefits vs. harms. Odds of attributable benefit cluster in a 15-25% band, so 75%-85% don’t see substantial benefit. Stated differently, if five people take a bipolar drug, only one is likely to see substantial improvement due to it, but all five will have side effects.
love power

How Love Can Reformat Our Lives

I say this about myself and everyone I have known in my life and work: No matter how overwhelmed and desperate we feel, recovery and growth depend on becoming open to loving and being loved, and seeming miracles occur when individuals change their life in recognition of these truths. Love wipes the slate clean.
mad in america 2018

Mad in America: 2018 by the Numbers

As 2019 begins, we at Mad in America are looking forward to continuing to broaden our efforts to provide informational and educational resources that will help our society "rethink psychiatry." The start of the New Year also provides us with an opportunity to look back and tally up our efforts in 2018.
mystery of madness

The Mystery of Madness Throughout the Ages

The roots of modern psychiatry go back to the Age of Enlightenment when madness was reduced by scientists to an ‘object’ of mind — an object which could be studied, analysed, and as some of them claim, even understood. Not only does psychiatry deprive madness of its mystery, it also makes it extremely boring. But madness is never boring, and shouldn't be.

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